Why are core beliefs important for a winning verdict?

Published: 04/04/2017

The art of Positioning a jury to a winning verdict requires you to first determine the CORE beliefs involved in the facts of your case. In order for you to determine the CORE beliefs that are involved in the facts of your case, you first have to know what is a CORE belief and what is not a CORE belief. As I discussed in a prior posting, Positioning around a belief that is not a CORE belief will lead to a losing verdict.

CORE beliefs are those beliefs that every person filters all outside stimuli through and then acts according to those beliefs. CORE beliefs have been instilled/taught to every person over their life time. They are not changed easily and certainly not changed during the life of a trial by a "slick" attorney, so you should stop trying to get a juror to side for authority when his CORE belief is to resist authority or stop trying to get a juror to side for self reliance when her CORE belief is to be cared for. CORE beliefs cannot be changed!! So what are the CORE beliefs?

The following list is not a complete list, but a list I use when I consult with attorneys on their cases, so it is geared to that end:

  • Fight or Flight
  • Authority or Against Authority
  • Self Reliance or Reliance on others
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Racism
  • Protect others or Isolationism
  • Children and Women should be protected or Every man for themselves
  • Equality in results or Equality in opportunity
  • People can change or People don't change

These CORE beliefs make up the totality of people's belief systems and how they will respond to any argument or set of facts presented to them in a trial. Therefore, it is not necessary to voir dire to determine a potential juror's beliefs about your case, voir dire should be used to set up the facts around the core beliefs of the jurors which we already know. Let me know if that makes sense. I will describe each these CORE beliefs in future posts along with how to work with each of them to achieve a favorable verdict.

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